Kale Salad with Tahini Maple Dressing

Kale Brussel Sprouts Salad 3This is a simple dressing to make that pairs well with kale.  The brussel sprouts add an extra crunch!  Happy Summer Salading!

Kale Salad with Tahini Maple Dressing Recipe

adapted slightly from Cookie and Kate

Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of green kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 12 brussels sprouts, shredded
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • dash of sea salt
Tahini Maple dressing
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons white miso paste
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup water
Directions
  1. Place the kale and brussel sprouts in a serving bowl.  Sprinkle the chopped carrots, almonds and cheese over the leaves.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the tahini, vinegar, miso, maple syrup and red pepper flakes. Whisk in the water until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour the dressing over the kale and sprouts and mix well.
  3. Serve immediately.  If making individual salads, pour the dressing on immediately before serving.

Bourbon Apple Pie

Apple Bourbon Pie 4Oh pie!  This is a little spin on traditional apple pie.  I personally love crumble toppings a lot and so when I saw this pie had a crumble top I had to go for it!  The bourbon and apple cider add a nice punch of flavor.  This will definitely be my new go to apple pie recipe.

Apple Bourbon Pie 3

I ended up having a little extra pie and filling and made two mini pies using ramikins.  The pie crust recipe is really quite amazing, AND it makes enough for three pie crusts which keep well in the freezer.

Visit How Sweet  It Is for the recipe here!

Salmon Caesar Salad with Homemade Dressing

Salmon Ceasar Salad 10

 I’ve been on quite the salad dressing kick this year.  Now that I’ve spoiled myself with homemade dressings, I find it difficult to go back to store bought!  I decided to venture outside of my comfort zone with this one and make Caesar dressing from scratch including using anchovies for the first time ever!

Salmon Ceasar Salad 8aYou can do this too!  Just buy some canned anchovies and go for it.  As for the parchment paper cooked salmon, I found this recipe in a William Sonoma cookbook. I find that it really cooks the salmon quite nicely, and keeps it nice and juicy.  It also looks pretty :)

Parchment Paper Salmon

adapted from William Sonoma

Ingredients

  •  1 pound of uncooked salmon, skin removed, and split into four equal portions
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 4 thin lemon slices

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Cut the parchment paper into four 8 by 11 inch rectangles.  Fold the rectangles in half lengthwise and cut each into a heart shape.  Lightly brush the edges with olive oil.

Salmon Ceasar Salad 6Place each piece of salmon on one half of the heart cut out.  Sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper.  Place a half tablespoon of butter on each piece and then top with a lemon slice.  Starting at the top of the heart, fold the edges over twice working down along the border of the heart until you get to the bottom of the heart.

Salmon Ceasar Salad 3a Then place the packets on a rimmed cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes for each inch of thickness of the fish.  Let the packets rest for  few minutes before opening the parchment paper.  Enjoy your salmon on the Caesar salad below or any way you wish!

Salmon Ceasar Salad 12

Caesar Salad Dressing

adapted from How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp plain greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2-4 anchovies, minced (I used 2)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil

Directions

Blend all the ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor.  Then slowly drizzle in the olive oil.  Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup depending on how you like the consistency.  Serve over a bed of romaine lettuce with croutons and parmesan cheese.  Add roasted corn for fun!

Salmon Ceasar Salad 9

Farro with Kale and Fennel

2- farroI was first introduced to farro by a restaurant here in Seattle called Bar Cotto.  They had a delicious appetizer that opened my eyes to the world of nutty, chewy, savory farro.  My friends who I share my CSA vegetables with introduced me to a farro recipe.  This recipe is adaptable to whatever you have on hand.  I will share my version which includes kale and fennel.  If you saute fennel, it does not have the strong licorice flavor as raw fennel.

Farro with Kale and Fennel

adapted from sugarlaws

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-4 beets, chopped and roasted at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until tender
  • 5-6 green onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 cups farro
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Directions

In a large pot, heat the farro and stock to a simmer.  Leave cooking uncovered for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Cook until farro is slightly crunchy with a little stock still left in the pot.

While the farro is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan.  Add the chopped kale and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Then remove from the heat and place on paper towels and allow to cool.  Add the chopped fennel, green onion, and garlic.  Saute on medium for 10-15 minutes.  Once the kale has cooled, squeeze out the juice and then add back into the frying pan.

Next add the lemon zest and vegetable mixture to the farro once it is done cooking.  Once everything is heated through and most of the stock as been absorbed, serve hot!

*additional add in options include roasted butternut squash, toasted nuts, swiss chard

Darjeeling Tea Chocolate Chip Cookies

Darjleeing Tea Cookies 5

Oh chocolate chip cookies!  This is my favorite dessert, especially hot from the oven.  I rarely ever eat a room temperature cookie.  I have been working on perfecting my microwaving times to recreate fresh from the oven melty goodness.

Darjleeing Tea Cookies 3I found this recipe from one of my favorite bloggers une gamine dans la cuisine.  I had never tried to make a tea flavored cookie and felt up to the challenge.  I do not think I was effective in extracting as much butter as needed from the tea/butter mixture so I had to add butter in until I got the right texture for the cookie dough.  But the result was worth it, these cookies were soft with great texture.

Darjleeing Tea Cookies 2Above is the tea/butter mixture.  It smells delicious!  I found the tea flavor to be quite subtle but the cookie over all was fantastic.  I think making them without the tea would also be great!  Due to the variable amount of butter I added, I would not recommend this unless you bake enough cookies to be comfortable deciding if your dough is the correct consistency.

Darjeeling Tea Chocolate Chip Cookies

adapted from une gamine dans la cuisine

Ingredients

  • 12-16 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Darjeeling loose leaf tea
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Place the 10 tablespoons butter and tea leaves in a saucepan over medium low heat.  After the butter is melted, increase the heat to medium and cook the butter until it turns light brown and develops a nutty aroma.  Browning butter usually takes 5-8 minutes, if you try to brown it too quickly it will burn.   After the butter has browned, remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla.  Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes.

Use a sieve to strain the butter into a bowl.  Using the back of a large spoon to press down on the tea leaves to squeeze out as much butter as possible.  Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the microwave and add it to the strained butter.  Let cool for 15-20 minutes.  Add the white and brown sugar and beat on medium high speed with a hand mixer until combined.  Add the egg and beat in.

Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Beat on low speed until just combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

**at this point my dough was too dry so I added in 1 tablespoon at a time of melted butter until I got a cookie dough that was the typical consistency.

Place cookie dough onto baking sheets.  The cookies above were 1/4 cup full of dough.  The original recipe called for refrigerating dough for 12 hours.  I  did not and the cookies were still great!  Preheat the oven to 350 F.   Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges have set.  The centers will look undercooked, but they will finish baking while on the cookie sheet out of the oven.  Leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.  This is the key to having soft cookies the next day!

Darjleeing Tea Cookies 4

Asian Sweet and Spicy Green Beans, Broccoli and Tempeh

2- sweet and spicy green beans and broccoli Ohh this recipe!  It’s hard to describe how amazing this recipe is.  It is from Mark Bittman’s website that originally calls for just green beans.  Since I have a love affair with broccoli I of course added them.  Then, I loved this recipe so much I added tempeh to make it a meal all in itself!  (tempeh not pictured above but mixes in easily).

1- sweet and spicy green beans and broccoliImportantly, do NOT skip the step of shocking the broccoli and beans.  This step ensures that your veggies will be crunchy and not overcooked mush.

Asian Sweet and Spicy Green Beans, Broccoli and Tempeh

adapted from Mark Bittman

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz tempeh, cut into 1/4 in. by 1 in. cubes
  • soy sauce
  • 1/2 pound green beans
  • one crown of broccoli broken up into bite sized florets
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce

Directions:

Place the chopped tempeh in a baggie with enough soy sauce to coat the tempeh.  Let soak for 30 minutes-overnight.  Then heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute the tempeh until golden brown.  Set aside in a separate bowl.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the green beans and broccoli and cook until crisp-tender, about 2-3 minutes. Shock the beans in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and drain again (this can be done up to a day ahead of time).

Put the almonds, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a food processor and process.  Add 2 Tbsp of the olive oil and continue to process, it will be a chunky mixture.

Put the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and cook the shallots over medium heat.  Stir occasionally, until they’re just soft, about 3 minutes. Add the almond paste and continue cooking for another couple of minutes, then add the honey and soy sauce. Cook for another minute or 2 stirring constantly and then add the green beans, broccoli and tempeh. Toss to coat everything well in the almond-shallot mixture and cook until everything is warmed through.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

Sprinkles Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Sprinkles PB cupcakes 11

I first went to Sprinkles on my first trip to LA to visit my sister.  There I had the most amazing peanut butter cupcake with chocolate chips inside and a frosting that was so rich it tasted like a chocolate mousse.

Sprinkles PB cupcakes 3

Peanut butter is usually quite dependable for creating moist cupcakes.  Melted chocolate is probably one of my favorite parts of a dessert.  These cupcakes were very close to the original ones!  Definitely worth making, chocolate cream cheese icing is quite impeccable.

Sprinkles PB cupcakes 9

I made these for my friend Colleen for her birthday!  (also Go Gators!)  She is a fellow lover of all things peanut butter chocolate.  I hope you enjoy these magical cupcakes :)

Sprinkles Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

recipe from Sprinkles owner Candace Nelson from So I’m in Texas Now

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup smooth all natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat on low until smooth. In a small bowl, combine milk and vanilla. Alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips. Scoop into liners and bake for about 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs. Cool completely.  *I also baked mini cupcakes and they required about 15 minutes in the oven.

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-3 Tbsp heavy cream

Beat together the cream cheese and butter. Scrape down sides. Add cocoa powder. Beat until well mixed. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until desired sweetness is achieved.  Beat in heavy cream 1 Tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.  Frost cooled cupcakes.

Sprinkles PB cupcakes 12

Chocolate Chip Cookie Butter Bars

Cookie Butter Bars 9

Ahhh, cookie butter!  Such a great food invention.  You can get cookie butter from Trader Joe’s.  They now have a crunchy version too.  Cookie butter is great by the spoonful, but I figured it would be good to see how it worked as an ingredient in baking adventures.  These bars are soft, chewy and decadent.  The cookie butter flavor is mild, but as far as chocolate chip cookie bars go these are more soft and really melt in your mouth if you eat them hot from the oven or zap them in the microwave for a few seconds.  They taste good with some vanilla ice cream on top too!

Cookie Butter Bars 1

Chocolate Chip Cookie Butter Bar Recipe

 

Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Lemon Shortbread 9

It is finally that time of year again, time for the annual food blogger cookie swap!  I participated for the first time last year it was so much fun!  You get assigned three different food bloggers and bake them one dozen cookies.  Then you get a dozen cookies from three different food bloggers.  It is like secret Santa style, because you do not know who has you until you receive your cookies.  And it is also a fundraiser for kids with cancer: Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

Lemon Shortbread 6

For this year’s cookie I decided to go with a shortbread.  They hold up well for a few days and are nice with warm beverages of winter (hot tea, cocoa, coffee).  You can really taste the lemon in these cookies!  They are tart and still have the goodness of a shortbread.

Lemon Shortbread 8

I want to say thanks to Jennifer of Orlando Connections, Lisa of LifewithLisa and Krista of A Handful of Everything for the delicious cookies!  Special thanks to Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen for hosting such a fun event!

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

adapted from une gamine dans la cuisine
Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups + 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp table salt
2/3 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3-4 lemons depending on the size)
2 heaping Tbsps lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar – for dusting

Directions:
In a medium-size bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, and salt; Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy with a hand mixer.   Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and almond extract and beat on medium-low speed until combined.  Add the flour/cornstarch mixture and beat on low speed until a smooth dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Place each half onto a large sheet of wax paper and roll each one into an 8-inch long log. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 F after the dough is finished chilling.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Remove one log of dough from the refrigerator and slice it into 1cm-thick rounds.   Place the cookie rounds onto prepared sheets, leaving about 1 1/2-inches of space between each one. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until the bottom edges are light golden brown.  Remove the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for about three minutes.

Place the confectioners’ sugar into a large, shallow bowl.  Gently toss the still-warm cookies through the bowl of confectioners’ sugar. Transfer the coated cookies to a wire rack and cool completely. Repeat with the remaining log of dough.  Store in an airtight container.

Lemon Shortbread 10

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013